Silvio Lorusso, Sebastian Schmieg: Networked Optimization

  • ©2013, Silvio Lorusso and Sebastian Schmieg, Networked Optimization


    Networked Optimization

Artist(s) and People Involved:



Creation Year:



    Crowd-sourced book installation

Artist Statement:

    Networked Optimization is a series of three crowd-sourced versions of popular self-help books. Each book contains the full text, which is however invisible because it is set in white on a white background. The only text that remains readable consists of the so-called “popular highlights” – the passages that were underlined by many Kindle users – together with the amount of highlighters. Each time a passage is underlined, it is automatically stored in Amazon’s data centers. Among the books with the most popular highlights, there is a striking number of self-help books. This points to a multi-layered, algorithmic optimization: from readers and authors to Amazon itself. Harvesting its customers’ micro-labour, the act of reading becomes a data-mining process. The series consists of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, The 5 Love Languages of Love, and How to Win Friends & Influence People.


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